Don’t Forget To Boat!

Yeah, I overshare in this blog and here I go again.

So, I want a boat. I used to own one, a Bayliner Open Bow that I bought one Father’s Day weekend, many, many years ago. I loved that boat. But over time, I became the only one in the family who shared that fondness. Then, after I bent the prop on some rocks, I decided to let it go.

However, that itch has been wanting to be scratched for a long time and I felt like now just might be the right time to make a move.

There are lots of ways to go. Return to the family-sized cruiser for fun. Keep it simple and go for a basic fishing boat. Or go big with something that has to be moored, but keeping in mind, if you have a head and a galley on board, it’s a “home” and you can write off the interest.

Thinking it through, really, what I’m wanting to do is get my father-in-law Ernie out on the water again to go fishing. It would mean a heck of a lot to him, and at the same time, I could get a boat.

So, I’ve been carefully watching boattrader.com and even skimming the Craigslist ads, just to get an idea on prices. With that in mind, the other day I saw this incredible offer–a 17-foot Lund fishing boat with motor and…well, when I wrote to see if the boat was still available, this was the response:

Hi!
Thanks for your interest in my 2003 Lund 1775 Pro-V. This boat is in perfect condition without any problems, always garaged, never used in salt water and has a clear title on my name. Boat comes complete with everything including: trailer, trolling motor, 2 x GPS Hummingbird Sonar/Fish Finder Touch Screens and High Performance 4-Blade Stainless Steel Propeller, Engine 140 HP Johnson in 4 strokes, 120 hours, Length 18.
I sell it at this low price $1400 including delivery to your address, because my husband passed away 3 months ago, this was my husband’s boat and i don’t need it.
I travel a lot with my job and I want to make this deal thru eBay Motors. If you are interested in purchasing my boat, just reply me your full name, full address and phone number, so I can notify eBay Motors(with no further obligation or fees). Then eBay Motors will contact you to explain the purchase process. I look forward to hear from you.

God Bless you and your family!

Well, that’s an incredible deal. Wow. Seems like a perfect fit. I had asked if I could come over and take a look at it. Well, yes, if I was up for a long drive. She said she was Sarah Carter from Kentucky and that she preferred to sell it through EBay Motors. Didn’t know there was an EBay Motors, but I went online and sure enough, there they were. But Sarah’s boat wasn’t listed, no matter how hard I searched.

Then, within minutes of each other, I got the “invoice” from EBay motors and a prod from Sarah, asking if I had received it yet.

Hi ,
Tim, did you received the invoice from eBay Motors at your email address?
I’ve just got a notice from eBay Motors, saying that they had sent you the details on our transaction at your email address.
Just wanted to be sure, that you have received it and you understood how to make the payment.
Please get back to me asap and inform me when you will be able to make the payment so they can start the delivery process at your address!
I’m waiting for your payment confirmation, keep me posted!
Thanks a lot!

That seemed odd. Like she was in a hurry to make this happen. About that time, my wife stopped by, I told her what was going on and she said, “Sounds like a scam to me.”

I don’t have any experience with Ebay Motors, but it does exist. The way she explained the process: they would invoice me, I’d give them the $1400, they’d send the boat in two days, and then I could check it out for five days and if I didn’t like it, I could send it back and get a refund on my money.

It was about then that I thought I better look into things. I looked up Sarah Carter on Facebook, WhitePages.com and even checked the obituaries for a Carter that passed away in Kentucky over the past couple of months. Zero.

Next, I took a closer look at the invoice “Ebay” sent me. Here’s what it looked like.

Looking good. But my wife’s comment made me realize I should probably do a little investigation. So, I contacted Ebay to verify this was legit. Completely bogus.  Which I would have thought once I got to the bottom of the agreement and saw that they wanted the payment in EBay Gift cards.

I had even told this Sarah Carter how sorry I was for her loss.

So, they’re out there, scamsters in all shapes and forms. They took a swing at me with a Craigslist ad from Kentucky. Or, they said they were from Kentucky. The person from EBay said a lot of times the people claim they’re on a military base, so you can’t come by.

My little boat heart is broken. My father-in-law and I will be fishing from the shore again this weekend. But then again, I saved $1400.

Huh. Maybe I should go buy a boat!

Tim Hunter